The idiocy of smoking

One of the things that BJ and I immediately liked about California was its attention to health. It was very rare to see Californians smoking. Oh, not saying they never did, some of the folks I worked with would have been lost w/out their smoke breaks. However, far fewer percentage wise smoked. In fact, when we returned to Mississippi, one of the first things we noticed was how much “smoke” was around us…that, and we’d forgotten how truly hot it is in the South.

Before I go further, though, it should be stated that I have friends who smoke and I respect their right to smoke, I just don’t understand it.

Smoking has never really held any interest for me. That may harken back to the day when, as a first grader, my mother saw me pick up the spent butt of a cigarette just tossed down by our neighbor. I was a kid and I was pretending. Mom decided to let me see what it really was. SO, our neighbor loaned Mom a cigarette and I was forced to “inhale.” Yes, former Mr. President, I did inhale.

And I got sooo sick.

Just a guess on my part, but that could play some role. Regardless, being in smoky places makes my eyes water; and it usually smells horrible inside. Then, when I leave, the smoke smell comes with me because it’s permeated my clothes. Frankly, it just stinks.

I won’t belabor the health risks…seems everybody is aware of them these days. So why do they still do it? That’s the question I just can’t answer. Oh sure, I’ve heard all the responses: driving a car can kill you, too. Sure, sure. But that is an accident. It’s no accident that smoking tars up lungs.

I’m not real fond of riding in the cars of smokers either. They usually also stink; despite the various attempts with car perfumes and those things that dangle from the mirrors. It still stinks. But smokers have lost the ability to smell it anymore. Long time smokers lack the ability to smell smoke at all it seems!

You can always tell a house, too, that has smokers (pets, too, but that’s a piece for another day). BJ and I have looked at our share of houses in the last few years. We’ve been in a few in which stepping just inside the door was enough for us because of the stench of smoke. Once it gets in the walls, it just never comes out. I’ve even seen tar run down the walls in bathrooms during a steamy shower in the former homes of smokers.

I still believe it is their right to do so, but just because I believe they have the right to do it, doesn’t mean I think they have the right to stink up public places like restaurants and such.

But you just have to question why? Why in the world do something like that? The answer escapes me.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The idiocy of smoking

  1. Roland, I agree. My father smoked for almost 65 years, and is now suffering from COPD. He shrugs and says , “I did it to myself,” but I know he regrets not being strong enough to quit earlier on.
    Not only can you smell it, but you can taste it. I have carried the taste of smoke in my mouth for days after being in a smoke-filled room. Never understood it.
    I remember when my (then) 22 year old daughter lost a pack of cigarettes out of her purse at my house. I picked it up, handed it to her, and said ” This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen you do.” It probably made her mad. In fact, she didn’t say a thing back. And I didn’t say anything else. Had nearly the same conversation a few years back with my 18 year old granddaughter.
    Neither one of them smoke now, and as much as I would like to say I influenced that decision, I really doubht it.

    As you said – I don’t understand it.

  2. Peggy Johnson

    The answer is addiction, Roland. My father smoked himself to death. After he was diagnosed with lung cancer, he tried to quit, and couldn’t. It was too late. When he started smoking as a teenager, he didn’t know it was dangerous. No one touted its dangers at that time.
    I never smoked. I’m glad I made that wise choice.

  3. rtreskillard

    Roland,

    My father smoked his whole life. At the age of 72 he developed brain cancer, and the doctors said it had spread from undetected lung cancer, and not just to his brain. It also went to his pancreas, and other organs. There was nothing they could do except give him medicine to relieve the pressure in his brain. He lived about three months.

    Now age 72 doesn’t sound too bad, but if you realize that both his parents lived until they were 90, my grandfather working until the day he died, that’s really pretty young.

    So, thanks for posting this. People really ignore what they are doing to their body by smoking.

    -Robert

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